May 24,2008- Mark it down in History!
May 24th ,2008 is a Historic Day
What is so historic that happened on May two-four 2008? That is the day that the gas guzzlers died. Well that is not actually true they died a long time ago , they just did not know it since gas prices where too low. What is historic is the news came out with a piece about some “poor” guy who was trying to sell his almost new truck that cost him as much as my small house (about $60,000)and he is still making payments on it ,only to find out the blue book value on it now has dropped to the high $30,000 range. Some people are stuck in this situation where the vehicle is worth less than what is still owed on it. Some of them are going to take a huge loss, others will just use them much more infrequently. Part of me feels sorry for these poor slobs, but another part of me is glad the evidence is so overwhelming that people are getting the message.
Speaking of Gas Guzzlers, we have something called Retro-fest going on around my city. There are thousands of old cars people have been restoring and hundreds are put on display. Some have been sold to the likes of collectors like Jay Leno. I predict that from this day forth there will be less and less old cars coming to this festival since the gas prices will be too huge. Right now we have people still coming from all over but like all tourist activities that will slow down to a trickle or be cut of completely. There will be more short day trips taken that can be packed on a train or a bunch of people in a large van or bus. The long vacations may end up being longer in one place for some people. Other people will have no vacations or working vacations. I will be going to the Spirits of the Earth Festival to do workshops and sell my candles and silver jewelry. That is a 6 day event. I will have some downtime to play and drum and get to know friends better. That may be the only vacation I will have this year.
There are a few more trends I see coming in the short term. Since more people will be forced to choose between paying rent or eating or heating or electricity, more people will be looking to food banks and handouts to get by. Soon there will be little to get by on and people will be tossed in the streets and houses will end up unoccupied which will lead to vandalism, squatting, grow-ops and a general down turn in the value of houses. Land will always be valuable but houses fluctuate.
As a longer term vision I see more people camping out in friend's backyards for the summer and working at any odd job they can find. The cost of stoves will go up since there will be a larger demand for alternative heat sources(at least in the northern States and Canada and other 4 season areas of the world). Hobo's will be making a comeback. Locally we will do ok since we have a salt mine a day or two walk from here (about 70 miles or 115 Km) If you are on a bike with a trailer You could get there in one day I you are in good shape. You would start early in the morning and get there, camp out or find a place to sleep, get your load and head back as soon as you can. It would be better to travel in groups for protection. A better way to get a load of salt is to run a boat down to Windsor and use the Thames as a Trade Route once again. Another reason why we will do ok here is we have an ethanol plant and we have hundreds of potential sites for wind farms. We have some wind generators going up as we speak. Another reason why we will do ok here is we have the Thames and rail as transport routes and we are surrounded by lakes. We are net exporters of food, that makes us very rich.
You may think I have gone off topic of Gas guzzlers, but I have not since all these things are inter-related. The news that people are going to stop buying the big trucks will force many local people out of work. In the short term that is bad-very bad. The potential is for some of these factories that are making gas guzzlers could be re-tooled to make wind generators and solar panels if anyone around here had half a brain. Some people tried to grow Hemp and stopped after one try since the shipment was stopped at the border and they lost money. I am sorry for their loss, but I think that was very short-sighted of them. We missed our first good chance. I hope I can turn that around when I get my own farm up and running. I will not rely on foreign markets to dictate what I will or will not grow.
To sum up – as much as I have seen this coming, the day has arrived( and non too soon)for the beginning of the end of the big gas guzzlers.
Michael J. Kaer – copyright 2008
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